The gastronomy of Finland has a great variety of tasty traditional dishes. Due to its history and the geographical situation of the country, traditional Finnish food is influenced by the gastronomy of its neighbouring countries, especially Sweden and Russia.
In this article, we are going to show you some of the most traditional food dishes of Finland. All of them can be found very easily in the country, so you should not stop trying them if you travel to Finland.
Karjalanpiirakka (Karelian pie)
The Karelian pie or karjalanpiirakka is one of the most consumed dishes in the whole country and, as its name suggests, it has its origin in the Karelian region. It is a cake, sweet or savoury, made with rye flour and filled with rice.
Karjalanpiirakka can also be found with other fillings, such as potato or carrot, although the most traditional is rice. This pie is usually eaten for breakfast with a little butter and accompanied by a boiled egg.
Leipäjuusto (bread cheese)
Leipäjuusto is a traditional Finnish fresh cheese with a very mild flavour that is prepared from cow’s milk that has just calved. Goat and reindeer milk are also frequently used, which give the leipäjuusto a different colour.
It receives the name of bread cheese because the way of preparing it is very similar to the traditional baking of bread.
This dish is usually served with blackberry jam and coffee during breakfast, although it can also appear in different recipes for fresh salads.
Ruisleipa (rye bread)
Rye bread or ruisleipa is the most widely consumed type of bread in Finland. The traditional recipe uses rye and cornflour, stout, and butter as its main ingredients.
Its most characteristic bread is dark and dense in colour and has a characteristic bitter taste that accompanies Finns at any time of the day.
Kalakukko (Finnish fish pie)
Kalakukko is a traditional Finnish dish from the Savonia and Karelia regions. This dish consists of a typical fish of the region cooked inside a piece of bread.
The most frequently used fish in this dish are salmon, whitefish and European perch. Kalakukko bread is usually made from rye flour mixed with wheat flour and butter.
Poronkaristys (sautéed reindeer)
Sautéed reindeer or poronkaristys is possibly the best known traditional dish in Lapland. This is served with mashed potatoes, cranberry sauce, and even pickles.
In this reindeer dish, the meat is cooked in the pan with a little butter along with water or stout until a tender texture is achieved. The season in which this dish is most consumed is autumn since it is the time when the hunting season takes place and reindeer meat is abundant in the country’s supermarkets.
Salmiakki (Finnish salty liquorice)
Salmiakki is a very popular salty liquorice, not only in Finland but in the rest of the Nordic countries, northern Germany and the Netherlands.
This is usually consumed in the form of candy, but its great popularity in Finland means that it is included in ice cream, alcoholic beverages and even to flavour the meat.
Korvapuusti (cinnamon bun)
The cinnamon bun or korvapuusti is one of the dishes that you cannot stop trying if you travel to Finland. These can be found in all supermarkets and bakeries, and many coffee shops.
Korvapuusti is usually consumed as a dessert with a cup of coffee, one of the favourite beverages of the Finns. Its traditional recipe, originating from Sweden, includes flour, butter, sugar, milk, cardamom and cinnamon.
Lihapullat (Finnish meatballs)
Finnish meatballs are influenced by the Swedish recipe, although their preparation and some of the ingredients they contain are different. These are served with boiled potatoes or mashed potatoes, cranberry sauce and pickles.
Finnish-style meatballs or lihapullat include pieces of bread dipped in milk or kermaviili, a cream of cottage cheese from the country. You can also add fried onion, egg and some spices, such as black pepper.
Graavilohi (cured salmon)
Cured salmon is one of the most typical dishes in all the Nordic countries. In Finland, graavilohi is made with coarse salt, sugar, pepper, and dill.
Cured salmon or graavilohi can be accompanied by dill, rye bread, mustard sauce, and even a touch of lemon.
Mustikkapiirakka (blueberry pie)
During the summer, the Finnish forests are full of blueberries. These fruits are collected by the Finns and are used in different recipes, including mustikkapiirakka or blueberry pie.
This dessert, one of the most typical in Finland, is made with flour, sugar, eggs, Greek yoghurt and blueberries.
What do you think of these traditional Finnish dishes? Which ones would you like to try? Tell us in the comments. And if you liked the article, we invite you to share it using the buttons that you will find below.